While the city of Prince Rupert continues to increase the tax collectors work load (not to mention the rate payers debt load), twenty some minutes down the highway is a place where the taxes are low and they hope soon the town will grow.
Port Edward once again has delivered a budget to its residents, that doesn’t put a hand in their pocket for more money; in fact they are taking less.
A situation which should give more than a few Rupertites to follow the lead of a recent citizen asking Rupert city council about their ever increasing tax agenda. At the time, one irate taxpayer asked council why he shouldn’t move out to Port Edward, pay less in taxes and still use Prince Rupert’s services. He may soon have company on the daily commute.
For details on this modern miracle of financial accountability we head for the front page of Thursday’s Daily News.
PORT ED FIND WAY TO KEEP TAXES LOW
By Patrick Witwicki
The Daily News
Thursday May 10, 2007
The district of Port Edward has once again found a way to lower taxes.
And it has done so despite the fact that the district has not collected any taxes from Skeena Cellulose in more than five years.
Port Edward announced during this week’s council meeting that it was lowering the general residential municipal tax rate from 5.9345 per cent to a flat rate of five per cent, a decrease of approximately 0.4 per cent.
The decrease comes on the heels of yet another tax increase for all Prince Rupert residents.
“Even though this council saw most assessments go up, council actually lowered the mill rate, which will actually lower the cost,” said Chief Administrative Officer, Ron Bedard.
So, if a house was assessed at $100,000 to say $110,000, then the resident would be paying more tax than last year, but not at a higher rate, added Bedard.
Every other general municipal tax, such as utility, business and recreation remains at the same percentage rate as 2006.
Meanwhile, the tax rate for the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional Hospital District and Northwest Hospital District’s tax rates have also decreased across the board by approximately half a per cent.
The only tax rate that increased was applied to the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District, where taxes in every category all went up by a minimum of 0.5 per cent.
Also Tuesday evening, Port Edward gave three readings to the five year financial plan, where total revenue for 2007 is expected to be $3,855,840, as are the expenditures, meaning the budget should balance.
Bedard noted, though, that many of the revenue projections are very conservative and they could prove to be better than expectations.
“Realistically, that number should be higher,” he said.
That will also help account for any shortfalls should they occur, said Mayor Dave McDonald,
“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. We’ve been bitten before.”
As usual, Port Edward council has not included any potential tax revenue from Skeen Cellulose in the plans, because council does not expect to receive taxes for the 2007 fiscal year.